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Posted By MLA
How to Spot Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Detecting drug use is a tricky issue. Mishandling the situation can lead to resentment and, in worst cases, a lawsuit. But if you can spot a few warning signs, it’s probably safe to assume your employee is suffering from substance abuse. The first sign is an inexplicable drop in work efficiency. Behavioural changes are another way to recognize substance abuse. Substance-affected employees often exhibit behavioural changes that are dramatic and most of the time subtle. The more dramatic the change, the more likely it is that the employee is suffering from a substance-related problem. But bare in mind that an addict would do everything in his power to hide their addiction. Why? Because they are afraid of the consequences and because people will think less of them.

So, how do you spot a drug-addicted employee? Here are some of the most common signs.

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The Signs of Drug Use 

Recognizing an addict isn’t tricky when you know what signs to look for. No matter how hard they try to hide, something just gives it away. It could be their tone, demeanour, walking style, or rapid mood shifts.

There is a pattern that is common among the abusers. If you see this pattern, request a drug test at work before it is too late, as you might be able to help the suffering employee. And also don’t forget that reputation of your company is at risk and the sooner the measures are taken the better for everyone involved. 

drug addict

Absence or Coming Late to Work

Lateness is a common sign of substance abuse. Alcohol addicts usually pass out at night. This routine makes them late for work or absent. Furthermore, they present the lamest excuses for their late appearance. 

Bruises and Getting into Fights

An addict is the one coming in with bruises now and then. Alcohol addicts are more likely to do impulsive things like fights. It can also happen with other drugs. 

Moreover, we know that drugs may blur vision or cause vertigo. It can lead to falls, another cause of bruises. 

Change of Body Language 

There is a significant change in body language. A person’s overall behaviour is completely different when he is sober compared to one under influence of drugs or alcohol. You can pick up through small actions like walking or talking. It can be the gain of courage or overspeaking. You may think they are super energetic, but, it can be a result of recent drug use.

Withdrawal Symptoms 

Some of the addicts may present with dull and down behaviour. This can be a sign that they are going through withdrawal symptoms. It is a condition where your body starts craving the drug. These addicts may be shivering, have headaches or even collapse.

Inappropriate Behaviour at Work 

You can spot an addict through other employees’ behaviour as well. Very often there are complaints about unusual behaviour or even harassment in the workplace where drugs are involved. The addict may create a scene due to his inability to control himself and his temperament. 

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Using the Bathroom all the Time

Drugs like cocaine have a short-acting time frame. Their effects wear off quickly. In order to maintain his state he would have to use the drug very often. The bathroom is a safe and private zone in the workplace where employees cannot be seen and therefore a heaven place for drug addicts.

They can also disappear from the workplace to some other safe zone of their liking. 

They Appear Shady

The addicts most of the times look ungroomed and shady. They would try to avoid interaction and avoid meeting people after working hours. 

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How Drug Test at Work Can Help?

All of these signs are common among addicts. However, you cannot do anything without proof. These signs can raise suspicion, but you must order a drug test at work in order to be sure. Appropriate testing can clear all your doubts. Now, you can take further steps to maintain the peace of your workplace. And remember, an addict can try to conceal his addiction to maintain his sense of worth and he may not agree to take a drug test at work to avoid discovery. Make sure to look into your company’s policy and act accordingly.